Americans are turning red over Disney’s condemnation of a “parental rights” bill in Florida.
According to a survey commissioned by The Daily Wire, a clear majority of Americans — 67% — believe the Walt Disney Company was wrong to come out against the Parental Rights in Education bill, inaccurately described in the media and leftist groups as the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation.
Listen to the latest episode of the Faithwire podcast 👇
Disney CEO Bob Chapek initially tried to avoid taking a political stance on the issue. But after intense internal and external pressure, the chief executive gave in and announced his “disappointment and concern” over the legislation, which would prohibit classroom instruction on “sexual orientation and gender identity” from pre-K through third grade.
Contrary to the popular mischaracterization, the bill does not ban use of the word “gay.” In fact, the term does not even appear at all in the five-page legislation.
“Unlike other polls, The Daily Wire study presented the respondents actual text from the legislation,” the outlet reported. “The researchers then informed the respondents that Disney opposes the bill and asked them whether the company’s stance is right or wrong.”
The survey’s 1,000 adult participants were asked, “Which of the following statements do you agree with the most, even if none of them is perfect?” They were then presented with the following options:
“Disney is wrong. This proposal would protect children from inappropriate topics that should be discussed by parents.”
“Disney is right. This proposal would be harmful to the LGBTQ community.”
Sixty-seven percent of respondents agreed with the “Disney is wrong” statement, while 33% said the company is “right.” Although The Daily Wire did not clearly define “Disney consumers,” it reported that 61% of that subset of survey participants believed the iconic brand took the “wrong” stance on the Florida bill.
Additionally, 63% of “Disney consumers” expressed support for the Parental Rights in Education legislation, which Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is expected to sign into law. Sixty-four percent said it is “inappropriate” for teachers to instruct students in pre-K through third grade “on sexual orientation.”
Similarly, 63% believed it’s “inappropriate” for teachers to instruct pre-K through third-grade children “on gender identity.” The same percentage said schools “should notify parents if kids identify as a different gender at school.”
Forty-percent said they are “less likely” to purchase Disney products as a result of the company’s stance on the bill.
DeSantis, for his part, decried Disney for attempting to strong-arm politicians into opposing the Florida legislation. Speaking to constituents in the Sunshine State, the governor said laws won’t be based upon “the musings of woke corporations.”
“If you’re family-friendly, understand the parents, who are actually raising families, want to have their rights respected,” DeSantis said. “And I also think that you have companies, like a Disney, that are going to say and criticize parents’ rights, they’re gonna criticize the fact that we don’t want transgenderism in kindergarten and first-grade classrooms. If that’s the hill that they’re gonna die on, then how do they possibly explain lining their pockets with their relationship from the Communist Party of China? Because that’s what they do and they make a fortune and they don’t say a word about the really brutal practices that you see over there at the hands of the CCP.”
Chapek announced last week he spoke with DeSantis to voice his displeasure with the Florida legislation.
Initially, the CEO said it would be “counterproductive” for Disney to become mired in the political fight over the bill but then backtracked when he was condemned from the left for his apolitical stance.
During a meeting with shareholders, Chapek said Disney executives were “opposed to the bill from the outset” but, rather than condemning it publicly, chose to work “behind the scenes” to kill the bill.
“We were hopeful that our longstanding relationships with those lawmakers could lead to a better outcome. Ultimately, we were unsuccessful,” he said. “I called Gov. DeSantis this morning to express our disappointment and concern that if the legislation becomes law, it could be unfairly used to target gay, lesbian, nonbinary, and transgender kids and families. The governor heard our concerns, and agreed to meet with me and LGBTQ+ members of our senior team in Florida to discuss ways to address them.”
Chapek also reportedly committed to signing a petition opposing any similar legislation in other states.
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***